Hi! Thanks for having me. I’m a big fan of GROG Blog and am so excited to be here sharing my new book.
1. Tell us a little bit about your newest picture book, BUG ON A RUG . . .
Bug on the Rug shares the story of a rug-loving Pug and a rug-stealing Bug. When these two encounter one another, a hilarious battle erupts with surprise twists and turns, until a third friend joins the fray and ultimately helps everyone find common ground. In general, this is a funny rhyming book that’s packed with action. But at its core, this is a story of friendship, empathy, compromise, and forgiveness.
2. How was this book different from your previous releases?
Bug on the Rug is different from my previous books in a few ways. First, this marks my fiction debut. Hooray!
Many years ago, when I began writing, I only wrote fiction. Fiction was what I envisioned I’d always write. It just so happened that my first three published books were nonfiction (with a few more in the works now). But I’ve found I approach both fiction and nonfiction the same way: by falling in love with a story first. The nonfiction books I’ve written weren’t subjects I sought out just for the sake of writing nonfiction. They were stories that I found fascinating and couldn’t stop thinking about. So, my draw to each of my books, whether a true story or not, has come from that same obsession and desire to tell those stories.
But Bug on the Rug is different in more ways than one…it also marks my rhyming debut! Poetry isn’t new to me. I love various forms of poetry, verse, and playing with sounds. But despite studying and exploring poetry, for many years I was terrified to truly pursue a full rhyming text because I doubted my skill. Rhyme can be so tricky! I’m truly in awe of the master poets out there. But when I began writing Bug on the Rug, the story wrote itself in rhyme. There really was no other option for me once I began drafting it. So, I had to be brave. I decided to run with it and here we are.
Last, but not least, Bug on the Rug is full of giggles. Humor is another one of those things that I’ve always written. But for those who are familiar with my previous books, this will be the first funny story you’ve seen from me. That said, it won’t be the last! A History of Toilet Paper (And Other Potty Tools) hits shelves this August and is another humorous tale. I’ve got a few more books in the works that haven’t been announced yet—both humorous and quiet. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to write both the raucous funny books and the quieter heartfelt stories.
3. Which character in BUG ON A RUG is your favorite and why?
Oh my. This is a hard question to answer! Can I just say all of them? They are each such fun characters and illustrator extraordinaire, Susan Batori, has done such a phenomenal job of making them unique and quirky. But I guess if I really had to pick one...maybe Slug? Slug is more of a peacemaker and I love that about him. J
4. For what age group would you recommend your book?
I’d say 3-7 is a great age range for Bug on the Rug. The play with phonics in this story also makes a nice tool for early and emergent readers. The humor and rhyme here are also great for story times. I recently presented this book to K-4th grade at an elementary school visit and each one of those age ranges had a blast reading the story, trying to guess what would happen next and acting out some of the characters. So, I think anyone who likes a humorous adventure can have a good time with this book.
For those interested, I have free classroom guides, crafts and activity pages that accompany Bug on the Rug and can be downloaded from my website here:
5. Tell us something we don’t know about you, Sophia . . .
People may not know that I have severe OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I was diagnosed as a very young teen and it’s something that I’ve had to learn to navigate my whole life. It’s also something that I’m slowly learning to talk about more openly. When I was first diagnosed waaaay back in the day, OCD wasn’t something that was widely discussed. I thought I was broken or crazy. Trying to overcome that inner voice telling me to keep my struggles secret has been a challenge. But I know how easy it is to flip through social media and assume life is perfect for someone else, and I think it’s important, for mental wellbeing, for others to see that they aren’t alone. At least, I know that’s been important for me.
Thank YOU for sharing from your heart today, Sophia—we are cheering you on and wishing you and BUG ON A RUG great success! If you want to know a little more about Sophia, here you go:
Sophia Gholz is an award-winning children's book author, business major, and magic seeker. She enjoys writing fiction with humor and heart. When writing nonfiction, she pulls on her love of science and strong family background in ecology. Since 2017, Sophia has helped oversee the Henry L. Gholz SEEDS National Field Trip Endowment for The Ecological Society of America, funding field experiences for students from diverse backgrounds. Previously, Sophia worked as an advertising copywriter and made a career working with visual artists in New York City. Sophia’s books have received numerous awards and accolades. When she’s not writing from her home base in Florida, you can find Sophia reading, visiting schools or exploring the great outdoors. For more, find Sophia online with the links below: